Breakfast Briefing, 10.17.2017: Aramco halts firm's IR comms work, says report

Plus: President Trump's approval is steady, according to the latest CNN poll; Uber and SoftBank are close to a deal; and Facebook buys a positive polling app that's popular with teens.

Aramco stops agency’s IPO comms. Saudi Aramco has asked FTI Consulting to halt its investor relations advisory services for its planned IPO, according to Reuters. A source told the news service the decision could mean a larger remit for Brunswick Group, which handles media relations for the Saudi state-owned business. Despite reports to the contrary, the company said this month that its IPO remains on track for 2018, according to the BBC.

Good news and more bad news for Trump in new poll. There’s a little bit of a silver lining for President Donald Trump in a CNN poll released on Tuesday morning: his approval rating has at least held steady from September at 37%. (Fifty-seven percent disapprove). However, the number of people who believe things in the country are going well has dropped to 46% from 53% in August.

Uber, SoftBank near deal. The two companies are close to reaching terms on an agreement that could result in SoftBank taking control of one-fifth of the pre-IPO tech company, board member Arianna Huffington said at the D.Live conference in California on Monday. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank could value Uber at as much as $50 billion, according to Recode.

Facebook’s latest buy: a positive app for teens. If you’re like me, which is to say definitely not tbh’s target demographic, the app is an anonymous polling platform for teens that "emphasizes positivity," according to Quartz. Facebook paid less than $100 million for the app, which has achieved 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the past two-plus months, according to TechCrunch. Meanwhile, Snapchat has struck a content deal with NBC Universal.

And here’s one way to handle social media speculation about your brand. Hamburger Helper played along with Twitter users on Wednesday who were pondering the anatomy of the brand’s clown-face-on-a-glove mascot. Its response: slightly creepy, but at least themed for the Halloween season.

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